Obama Budget Plan

RE: The Obama Budget Plan
Date: Friday, April 03, 2009

I recently had a friend suggest that I take action and let my voice be heard on the Obama Budget Plan because, “it's a bold plan that confronts the long-term threats to our prosperity and builds a new foundation for economic growth by investing in energy, health care, and education.”

I respectfully replied that I do NOT support the plan and that I WILL urge my congressman to oppose the plan. That was how I would let my voice be heard. My friend made the following reply:

“Mind if I ask though, in light of the financial crisis, hardships and woes that we currently find ourselves in, what plan, ideas or suggestions on how to fix this mess do you have, or would you support?

It's easy to be opposed to something ideologically and it is okay to agree to disagree. This is not a matter of what political party one is affiliated with or supports. These issues have an effect on each and every one of us.

Just being opposed to something, in my opinion, is NOT ENOUGH! Why not be for the idea of finding common ground. And if you don’t have a plan, why not offer support, suggestions and ideas on how to improve what is already on the table.
It is imperative that each of us get involved and using whatever platform that is available. Your ideas and suggestions are vitally important, so why not make those heard equally as loud as your opposition?”

Below is my direct response to his challenge to offer more than simple opposition:

It is true that opposition for opposition’s sake is easy. It takes thought and effort to devise an alternative to that which one opposes. Too few people, these days, are willing to put forth such an effort. I, for one, find that sad and maddening at the same time.

This country was founded by the thoughtful efforts of men who took the time to earnestly ponder their words through serious study and discussion before committing those words to paper for all to see. Today those who take the time to study the work of the men we call The Founding Fathers are often astonished by the breadth of their knowledge and the genius of their inspired documents.

I write this preamble in order that you will gain some insight into the foundation upon which I build my thinking. I place great stock in the work of the Founders but fear that we are quickly losing the battle to honor those documents and the government created by them.

“It is famously recorded that, upon the conclusion of the Constitutional Convention of 1787 a Mrs. Powel of Philadelphia asked Dr. Benjamin Franklin, ‘Well Doctor what have we got a republic or a monarchy?’ ‘A republic,’ replied the Doctor, ‘if you can keep it.’” I fear that this republic may be soon lost. (William J. Bennett, "Our Sacred Honor" New York, Simon & Schuster 1997, Page 15.)

The progressive centralization of power and control in the Federal government is precisely what the Founders feared. Nowhere, in my studies of the founding documents or the discussions that created them, do I find authorization for such centralization. Quite the opposite. Centralization of control and power is not supposed to happen here.
There is no Constitutional authority for the creation of Federal (central) control of energy, health care, education or any of several dozen other Federal agencies. Prosperity and economic growth can never be built on a foundation of government control.
Nobel Prize winning economist Milton Friedman, and his wife Rose, clearly stated the case that a free abundant society can work – if we let it. Their 1980 book, Free to Choose, clearly stated the position that government needed to stay in the background and let the producers do what they do best… produce.

Time and time again we have witnessed attempts by the government to step in and take control of a problem. It is a crisis they tell us and only the government can fix it. (I thought we were a country of rugged individualists.)

Recall the sky high interest rates of the Carter years as an example of government involvement in the marketplace.

More recently we had the drought crisis
here in Georgia. We were told we must conserve water. Even to the point of the water police stalking our neighborhoods! We conserved and then we were told that because we did not use enough water that our rates were going to increase. NO competition of suppliers here only a central government monopoly for a water source for most people.

Now we have the Mortgage Lending Crisis. My college degree is in Business Finance. I spent years in the banking and mortgage industries and it is my observation that this “crisis” was not created in a free market environment. It was created by Federal government efforts to control the marketplace. For years lenders had exercised prudent qualification controls on those to whom they would lend money. These controls safeguarded the industry against large losses from unqualified borrowers. In steps Federal legislation mandating the reduction of those prudent lending standards. Big money was lent to a new market segment called sub-prime. For a time all appeared fine but appearances deceive. Fine cracks existed in this market segment. It took only a couple of bumps in the road to break these cracks wide open. A couple of big corporate screw-ups, a big jump in gasoline prices and, oh yeah, more efforts at government control. The latest and biggest being the auto industry.

So the bottom line is I don’t need to spell out what I support. That has been done in numerous books, pamphlets and articles. Books such as:

1. Adam Smith’s "The Wealth of Nations"
2. Ayn Rand’s "Atlas Shrugged" and "Anthem"
3. Milton and Rose Friedman’s "Free to Choose"
4. George Gilder’s "Wealth and Poverty".

Each makes the case for our free market republic capitalistic society. This is a society which allows productive people to engage their entrepreneurial energies with as little government interference as possible.

As long as we stop looking for a government solution to every perceived crisis, and once again become a country of rugged individualists, this country will survive the threats to our prosperity that currently confront all of us.

Tom Jenkins
“The Man of Many Hats”
Speaker, Trainer, Consultant

Voice 770-235-1640
Suite #337, 1029 Peachtree Pkwy N,
Peachtree City, GA 30269-4210

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Submitted by Davids mom on Thu, 04/09/2009 - 5:16pm.

After reading the suggested books, what concepts would you implement in a plan that would solve our current problems? If your plan is better than the Obama plan - please share it with our legislators/leaders or even the participants on this site - so that we can help you get this plan into action!

This is a society which allows productive people to engage their entrepreneurial energies with as little government interference as possible.

Deregulation and lack of monitoring unfortunately led to greed and corruption - and great heartache. What/who would you suggest to correct this misuse of entrepreneurial energies?

Submitted by tjenks121 on Wed, 05/06/2009 - 4:04pm.

David’s Mom said, “Deregulation and lack of monitoring unfortunately led to greed and corruption - and great heartache. What/who would you suggest to correct this misuse of entrepreneurial energies?”

Let’s take a moment to dissect that thinking. What is greed? According to Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary the term means, “An eager desire or longing.” It is often associated with a degree of excessiveness that can be unhealthy. But who among us does not desire or long for something which they do not possess. Without a degree of greed there would be no drive to do, or have, more. Without this drive there would be no push for advancement and a society, and its economy, collapses. NOT a good thing!

The same dictionary gives us multiple definitions of corruption. I am going to use the fourth one which state, “The act of changing, or of being changed, for the worse; departure from what is pure, simple, or correct…” The key here is it is an “act.” One must choose to become corrupt. It is a deliberate loss of moral standards that are greater than the self. If the self is the highest standard by which a person acts than nothing is corrupt and all decisions benefiting the self are acceptable. NOT a good thing!

The combination of phrases “greed and corruption” and “misuse of entrepreneurial energies” suggests a bias against all who engage in an effort to create profitable enterprises. I am forced to wonder if David’s Mom has ever run her own business. I can understand this bias if you have done little more than work for someone else signing your paycheck. Otherwise I am confused by your attitude.

It is true that in the early days of the industrial revolution, when there was little regulation or oversight, it was easy for the ugly side of greed and corruption to manifest itself in the actions of some. However, over the past hundred years, there has been a body of laws, regulations, and bureaucrats put in place to try to stop such actions. This centralization of control has now reached epic proportions. It reaches into the daily activities of everyone in this country at levels far in excess of anything that the Founders envisioned. Our economic system is rapidly being controlled to death. NOT a good thing!

My thanks to Fred Garvin who noticed that, I “spelled out the premise in [my] letter.” You are correct to state, “it has been spelled out over, and over and over again.” For those who need a label to identify what that premise is it is Free Market Economics. THAT is the system that built this country and its economy to a level of achievement envied by the rest of the world. This system allows producers to actively expend their energies in profitable activities with limited government oversight. Profit is not a dirty word. It is the thing all entrepreneurs desire, feeding their healthy greed. Without it companies either die or are never born in the first place.

Fred Garvin also stated that “socialism has failed over and over and over again.” He is not wrong. But what is socialism. Wikipedia refers to it as, “a broad set of economic theories of social organization advocating public or state ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods.” His use of the term is not just hype. The Obama administration’s aggressive actions to control the financial and automobile industries are pure socialism. Once again, NOT a good thing!

The choice is a FREE market or a TYRANICAL one. You are free to choose.

JeffC's picture
Submitted by JeffC on Fri, 04/10/2009 - 8:26am.

Cut taxes on the top 10% while running up the deficit and pass it on to the kids; encourage the destruction of the country's largest industry so that we can finally bust up those automobile manufacturing unions; blame everything on Roosevelt, Truman, Carter and Clinton.

Fred Garvin's picture
Submitted by Fred Garvin on Thu, 04/09/2009 - 7:18pm.

Mr. Jenkins spelled out the premise in his letter, you libs just don't take the time to read them. It's been spelled out over, and over and over again. And socialism has failed over and over and over again. Obama was supposed to bring something new to the plate, but he is just bringing failed policies of the past. Spend to get out of debt? The guy and his whole cabinet are freaking cheating lying power hungry morons - the whole bunch of 'em.

Stick to things that you can grasp before your head implodes - like the color of Michelle's dress this week.

The United States of America
July 4, 1776 - Jan 20, 2009
Rest in Peace

Fred Garvin's picture
Submitted by Fred Garvin on Thu, 04/09/2009 - 4:48pm.

It would have been better to do nothing than to adopt Obama's plan of spending, spending, spending, taxing, taxing, taxing.

This is the most inept, incompetent administration in recent history.

The United States of America
July 4, 1776 - Jan 20, 2009
Rest in Peace

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